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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Junk Arm

- Triumphant

Date Reviewed:
August 1, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

S
ee Below

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

WHO DARES AWAKE ME FROM MY SLUMBERRRRRRRRRRR 

Just kidding, but hey, welcome to the first week of August! Hope you don't mind that I took a week off or anything, but it oughta be good times for this week! In fact, this week we wanted to do something different, and Otaku suggested doing a Legacy Format set-up. He even managed to pull together a few cards to review for this week, so feel free to send him some good vibes! 

(Seriously, he's usually the one coming up with the week's cards to review, AND he's usually writing reviews daily, shout-out for all your hard work man) 

Anywho, this week is Legacy Week!! For those of you not in the know, this is in reference to a format that, at the moment, is only on the PTCGO. As you probably know, there's Standard and Expanded formats, but what is this Legacy Format? Well, since the PTCGO's been out a bit longer than Expanded or any of the sets currently in Standard, it has a bit more free-range to do its own thing. And what better way to expand on the playability of a bunch of older cards in the database than to make a new format for them? 

This mostly just includes cards from the HGSS era sets and the Call of Legends set - at least that's my understanding of the current Legacy Format - so this week, get ready for a kick-back with some HGSS cards!! Starting off this week is Junk Arm, which is a pretty nifty Trainer card. Pretty much all it does is make you discard two cards in order to get back a Trainer card from the discard pile - simple as pie. Oh, but you can't pick another Junk Arm for the effect - that'd be silly, maybe even a little broken in the right combination. 

Now I didn't play during the HGSS era, so I can't say I know that much about how powerful a card Junk Arm was back in those days. That being said, I do see a lot of potential for the card with some of the other decks that have been out and about. For instance, every deck that's got something like Eelektrik, Bronzong, etc. is gonna want to run Junk Arm to get their favorite Trainer cards back while also sending Energy into the discard pile to accelerate. Another set of cards to discard would be Pokemon - not just Exeggcute (PLF), who can effectively reduce the cost or even nullify it with Propagation putting him back into your hand, but also Night March cards or anything that can fuel Vengeance-style attacks from Flareon or Vespiquen. 

It's also not a stretch to imagine how easy it is to get back whatever you need or even to put what you need in the discard pile. Keeping in mind that Junk Arm specifies only TRAINER cards, I believe that technically means you can grab back anything - Items, Tools, Stadiums, and Supporters! And with stuff like Battle Compressor, you can easily toss whatever you want into the discard pile, use Junk Arm to get it back, and then play it all in one turn. That's pretty scary! And to think you could use all of that to fuel a big attack?  

Junk Arm's practically a no-brainer in a few decks, but generally speaking it's a good option to have too. Imagine just sitting there with a couple of cards you can't play when Junk Arm comes up, and you get that Professor Sycaper back to your hand - OH YEAH, AND YOU CAN RUN PROFESSOR SYCAMORE OR JUNIPER IN THIS FORMAT!! How bout that? Junk Arm is definitely a powerful and extremely viable card in any deck, and I'd highly recommend testing it out in a few of your own decks if you haven't had any experience with the card first hand. 

Rating 

Legacy: 4.5/5 (it's hard to not give this thing a perfect score, it's really got just about everything you'd need!) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (the only thing to really fault it for is in those moments when you really can't discard two cards, but that's probably a situation most people avoid in order to just USE this) 

Arora Notealus: I figure it's only really necessary to review this week's cards in Limited and Legacy settings, since technically they're not legal in Standard or even Expanded...weird to think on, huh? 

Next Time: An old professor with a new theory?


Otaku

Welcome to a special week of reviews dedicated to looking at important, general use cards for the Legacy Format.  The Legacy Format was created for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO); I have written an article explaining what I consider the basics of it, as well as listing some decks worth knowing about.  You can read it here.  If you just can’t or won’t, then know that the Legacy Format consists of cards from the HeartGold/SoulSilver plus the Black & White releases, including Call of Legends, promos, mini-sets, etc. released during this time as well.  For a fixed card pool, so far there has been a good amount of variety, possibly aided by the cards being more difficult to obtain than current product.  The learning curve for adapting existing deck archetypes and a card pool that seems to have a counter for anything but thankfully not for everything at once also likely play a role. 

We begin this week by looking at what I believe to be the most significant card in this card pool, at least relative to what is absent from Expanded play: Junk Arm (HS: Triumphant 87/102).  The card text states you can discard two cards from your hand to then add a Trainer from your discard pile to your hand.  It also specifies you cannot use Junk Arm to add Junk Arm to your hand.  This requires some clarification; with the release of Diamond & Pearl and until the release of Black & White, Trainers as we know them now were split into Trainers (basically Items), Supporters, and Stadiums.  Official ruling is that you treat any Trainer card that is not labeled a Supporter or Stadium as an Item, and when dealing with Trainer cards (Items, Stadiums, or Supporters) from this era, you just have to remember an effect like that of Junk Arm applies to Items and not all Trainers.  Honestly, it wasn’t that bad in real life when Black & White was new, and the PTCGO won’t let you grab non-Items anyway.  The line about not being able to add Junk Arm to your own hand is specifically to prevent a potential infinite loop play; in other TCGs such plays were used once a player had pulled ahead in some manner that would allow them to be declared the winner once time was called. 

Junk Arm acts like a more restrictive version of Dowsing Machine.  That might not sound too great but remember that Dowsing Machine is an Ace Spec and all Ace Spec cards are Items.  Up to four extra uses of your Ace Spec is pretty powerful in most decks.  You may also have TecH or other low count Items you will periodically need to play more often, or even cards that are maxed out that you really need to spam.  If you run the correct Items, Junk Arm can greatly improve deck consistency as well; Random Receiver allows it to fetch a Supporter, Energy Search a basic Energy card, and Ultra Ball a Pokémon.  That assumes you are not running Computer Search in the first place; if you are then once it hits the discard pile, Junk Arm can be facilitate a search for anything.  Provided you can afford the discard cost.  With decks still relying on Professor Sycamore, having cards to burn isn’t too unlikely.  There are also decks that want a particular card in the discard pile, like basic Energy for another effect.  One Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101) can help take the sting out of it, and two will make Junk Arm functionally free.  Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) regains some of its lost strength thanks to being able to snag two Junk Arm with a “Junk Hunt”; no telegraphing your intentions for the next turn.  If you’re familiar with older cards, all this should remind you of proper Item Finder usage; though again Junk Arm is still weaker (Item Finder is basically Dowsing Machine with a new name and not being an Ace Spec). 

So that is how Junk Arm works in the Legacy Format.  You can’t use it in Standard or Expanded, and that is probably a good thing.  Even without Ace Spec cards in Standard play, VS Seeker would allow each Junk Arm to be two-thirds of a Dowsing Machine.  Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) also provides yet another reason to lower your hand while gaining additional draw power, so even if this might help some rogue deck, it would help the current top decks even more.  With the release of Special Charge to recycle discarded Special Energy cards in the next set, a hypothetical Junk Arm re-release could probably replace Puzzle of Time.  If you somehow get to use packs of HS: Triumphant for a Limited Format tournament, Junk Arm is… actually pretty bad.  The powers-that-be thought ahead and made sure the only other Item in HS: Triumphant is Alph Lithograph (HS: Triumphant FOUR), some sort of Secret Rare that lets you look at your face down Prize Cards.  It becomes awesome if you are doing a multi-set event and the other set(s) provide some Items. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: N/A 

Limited: 1/5 (but up to a 5/5 in mixed company; see above) 

Legacy: 4.35/5 

Junk Arm is a must run for any deck I’ve used or seen in the Legacy Format.  Some decks can get by with just one or two, but generally you want as many as will fit into your deck.  That still might only be two copies due to deck space or the fact that Junk Arm is getting a bit pricey due to the high demand.  I started running four copies and it seems like too much, but then I try to go back to a lower count and I miss the so-called “extras”, meaning they aren’t.


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